1st Grade Heartwork

1st graders loved the freedom of this Jim Dine art lesson.  11×15 watercolor paper, Sax liquid watercolors, oil pastels and a lot of paper towels.  Cardboard hearts and stencils were available but not everyone used them.

Easy and beautiful!

All ages can Roll-A-Turkey!

Here’s an easy, fun activity for Thanksgiving get-togethers.  And there’s no prep for the hostess!

Today I played it with 25 first graders during their “Turkey Day” centers.  They used black Sharpies with feathers taped on the ends to draw with.
Thanksgiving party activity

A paper copy has been floating around my family for years, so I googled it and found a free, printable PDF at littlegiraffes.com.  Kudos to whomever thought this up!  If you send me a message, I would love to credit you.

Check Target’s Dollar Spot or Dollar Tree for dice.

4 Little Indians

$1 Native American wooden picture frames from Jo-Ann.  I can’t wait to take these out every year!

They make great Thanksgiving place settings and a fun family or classroom activity.  We used feathers, glitter glue, colored Sharpies, sequins and adhesive gems.

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Watercolor Birds in 35 Minutes

Yet another successful Art Parent lesson inspired by Deep Space Sparkle!

In 35 minutes, the 22 kids in my daughter’s second grade class learned about James Rizzi, an American pop artist who died last month, and “painted” these funny little birds that pop up in much of Rizzi’s work.   Nuggets about Rizzi that the kids enjoyed – a public elementary school in Germany bears his name and he painted on cars, a jet plane, fancy dishes and a house.

The kids drew on 11×15 watercolor paper with black Sharpie markers.  Click here for Patty’s simple drawing instructions.

Liquid watercolors would’ve done a better job at mimicking Rizzi’s bright colors, but because of our time constraints, the children colored their birds with washable markers and then added water with a brush for a quick watercolor effect (my own children’s old Pip-squeaks work great for this).

They even had time to make their own frames.  I pointed out the graphic doodles that Rizzi added to frame some of his work, and the kids went to town with my favorite metallic Sharpie markers on black paper.  This last step satisfied the children who had been itching to add detail to their birds.  Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #11 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #10 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #9 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #9 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #8 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #8 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #7 James Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #6 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #5 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #4 Rizzi art lesson 2nd grade #3 James Rizzi lesson 2nd grade Rizzi bird 2nd grader


Better-Than-Fancy Napkin Rings

When my children were 3 and 5 we sat down together one afternoon
and made these toilet paper roll napkin rings for our fancy Thanksgiving table.

We cut out pictures of each guest, along with paper strips that read, “We are thankful for you.”
The children painstakenly glued them on, along with anything else they found in the craft drawers.

They were so proud to contribute.

And the napkin rings, which go beautifully with Williams-Sonoma linens
and a Waterford stainless pattern, by the way, were the hit of the table.